Hey! That council meeting turned out to be a total frickin’ marathon. I’ve been home long enough to eat and stare at the inside of my eyelids for a bit. And it’s almost midnight.
Anyway. The big news is not really news, as in it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but here it is: The Black Building is a goner. Westland Properties (or maybe it’s Ventures?) have their demolition permit. They followed all the procedures and as such, council can’t interfere. Or so says the city solicitor, anyway.
Also discussed, the condo conversion policy was also passed pretty much as is. There is going to be some exploration by staff of whether or not they should expand the tenant transition measures (the provisions which protect tenants from hardship such as the guaranteed occupancy for two years and right of first refusal on their suite). And while many people came out to argue that the cut off vacancy rate for condo conversions should be three per cent, council decided to leave it at two per cent because staff pointed out that the vacancy rate has only been above two per cent a few times over the last 17 years.
Anyway, after passing something like 30 condo conversions over the last four year and now that condo conversions aren’t an issue any more and now that we have a vacancy rate so low that we shouldn’t see them even being considered for years and years, council now has a policy in place to deal with them.
Oh, and by the way, Regina turned out in huge numbers to express their anger about the housing crisis. It was really heartening to see a full house over this. Seriously, they were pulling in chairs from a meeting room so people at the back could have somewhere to sit down. Moms showed up with newborns. A lot of the men had beards. Is that a thing now?
Also on tonight’s agenda:
• The Globe Theatre got $50,000 in funding. Yay!
• Council passed their municipal election bylaw but took out the bit where they’d require criminal record checks for people running for office — that’ll get looked at again before the 2016 election.
• Remember that gas station that has a site plan I once likened to a map of Mordor? No? Well, it was passed.
Okay. That’s it. There will be more on the big housing items in the next issue of the paper. Actually, fuck, I have to write that article right now because it has to be in editor Stephen’s greedy mitts by first light. If it reads like crap it’s because I’m really tired. And a little cranky.
And then tomorrow afternoon I’ll be off to the special Planning Commission meeting to watch another quixotic misadventure as all of Cathedral turns out to try and fancy up/preserve the façade of the 13th Ave Safeway.
I plan to wear the same suit I’m in right now. If it smells it’ll be because I also plan to sleep in it.
Oh, an aside: I’ve noticed that when I’m writing these days I have a habit of leaving out the word “the” a lot of the time. I have to go back and add them in. And sometimes I miss that I’ve missed them. It’s really annoying. Do you think I should get that checked? Like with a doctor? Because I bet it’s a malady of some kind.